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CropsDon’t forget to stock up for your own table. You’ll find all the details in the book How to Store Your Garden Produce. If frost threatens suddenly, go through your fields and glean whatever odds and ends you can find. Almost everything can be frozen and used in soup later. Most veggies should be blanched (scalded briefly in hot water) before freezing. Here’s a concise publication from New Mexico State University about how long to blanche. Some veggies don’t even require blanching, but can be frozen raw. Here are a few examples.

Roma tomatoes: Wash, dry, place in plastic bags and put them in the freezer. When you want to use them, run warm water over them and the skins will slip right off.

Cherry tomatoes: Freeze them whole; they will rupture when thawed, but will add great fresh flavor to cooked dishes.

Herbs: Wash and chop them (individually or in your favorite combinations), then put them in ice cube trays. Fill the trays with water, freeze, and then transfer the herbed ice cubes to airtight storage containers.

Peppers: Wash, and either freeze whole or cut and remove seeds and stems; chop and freeze in airtight containers.

Onions/green onions/leeks: Chop, double wrap, and freeze.

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Reprinted from JSS Advantage September 2010